Sunday, July 1, 2018

Christopher Ruocchio

Christopher Ruocchio is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where a penchant for self-destructive decision-making caused him to pursue a bachelor’s in English Rhetoric with a minor in Classics. An avid student of history, philosophy, and religion, Ruocchio has been writing since he was eight years old and sold his first book —Empire of Silence— at twenty-two.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Ruocchio's reply:
Well, I just finished catching up reading Kentaro Miura’s manga series Berserk, which is older than I am. It started back in I think about 1989 and sort of pioneered what we would call “grimdark fantasy” for the Japanese market, and boy is it bleak. I almost feel uncomfortable recommending it to people—it’s that rough a ride—but I can enthusiastically recommend it to those with strong stomachs and thick skins. It also has some of the most lavish artwork I’ve ever seen in a manga series, and the attention to detail on the settings and the characters’ costumes is just jaw-dropping. Miura clearly loves the history and culture he’s drawing from, and that really speaks to me. And it really doesn’t pull any punches. It’s one of the hardest hitting stories I’ve ever read, and I’m one of those readers who goes looking for a bad time.

Before that, I’d finished my first reread of Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun, which I’d only read for the first time a year or so back—after I’d sold Empire of Silence. It’s one of those books I’m beating myself up for not reading sooner, although I’m glad I didn’t—I’m not sure a younger Christopher would have been ready for it.

As for my to-read pile: I have a new translation of Marcus Aurelius I’ve been meaning to finish, as well as D.J. Butler’s Witchy Eye and The Seer by my friend Sonia Orin Lyris. God only knows when I’ll get around to any of it. There’s a cliché about how the more one writes the less one has time to read, and I’m finding that’s very sadly true.
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--Marshal Zeringue